Scabiosa columbaria is a rather charming, sweet little perennial that forms low mounds of oval leaves that are hidden by taller, dissected foliage as the plant grows up and matures.  The lilac coloured, pincushion-shaped flowers are held above and around the plant on slender stems, giving this plant a dainty and endearing character.  Scabiosa columbaria flowers develop in late spring and early summer; this means that in the UK, Scabiosa columbaria flowers from June until September. 

Borago officinalis is a hardy annual herb that’s commonly known as Borage or Bee Bread (in the UK).  This plant has edible leaves and flowers that have a cucumbery aroma and delicate cucumber flavour.  If I were you, I wouldn’t get too excited about eating the leaves though, as they are covered in rough hairs which really aren’t very appetising.  If you want to taste Borage leaves, select the youngest foliage and chop it finely. 

Tradescantia spathacea ‘Concolor’ is an upright-growing Tradescantia that forms compact plants made up of handsome rosettes of attractive green foliage.  The pointed leaves are large in size; the foliage is nice and smooth with a lovely sheen.  This plant’s white flowers are borne within green bracts and are held tightly to the plant’s stem.  I am really fond of Tradecantia spathacea ‘Concolor’; it’s a tidy and compact Tradescantia with thicker and much longer leaves than the other varieties I’ve grown. 

Tradescantia pallida ‘Purpurea’ is an intriguing Tradescantia cultivar with olive-green coloured foliage that turns a deep purple colour in light and bright rooms.  I admire this plant’s foliage as it retains an underlying tone of olive-green beneath the purple, which looks beautiful.  This is a fast-growing form of Tradescantia with upright growth that eventually develops a trailing habit as the stems lengthen and the plant ages. 

Tradescantia pallida ‘Purple Pixie’ is a very pretty form of Tradescantia with attractive, small, oval-shaped leaves in shades of greyish-green that take on a strong purple tint when the plants are grown in bright, south-facing rooms.  This Tradescantia has an upright growing habit but will develop trailing growth as the plants’ age and their stems lengthen.  The foliage has a light covering of soft, downy hairs. 

In the UK, Viscum album is normally referred to by its common name, Mistletoe.  Mistletoe grows up in the branches of trees where it forms spherical ball-shaped plants comprised of many stems holding pairs of lovely fresh-green coloured, leathery leaves.  This evergreen shrub produces tiny white flowers followed by shiny white berries.  The oval leaves are borne in pairs and are very attractive and are naturally enhanced by the edition of gleaming Mistletoe berries, which appear in September and take many months to ripen. 

Dipsacus fullonum is a biennial or perennial plant that’s found growing in the wild in a widespread area across Europe and even as far as regions approaching North West Africa.  In the UK, Dipsacus fullonum is usually known as the Teasel, but due to how far reaching this plant’s range is – I am certain that there must be countless different common names for Dipsacus fullonum.

Vanda nana is an epiphytic subshrub, a monopodial epiphyte that grows primarily in the wet tropical biome and can be found growing as a wild flower of Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos.  This is a miniature orchid; my Vanda nana plant that you see pictured above measures around 10-12cm tall.  Plants are also known by the synonym, Ascocentrum pusillum.

This miniature epiphytic orchid species can be grown mounted or planted in a small pot, but I prefer to grow my Vanda nana on a mount. 

Tradescantia zebrina ‘Superba’ are attractive trailing plants with handsome purple and silver variegated foliage.  Each leaf displays wide bands of silver either side of a central purple stripe and every leaf is enhanced with a fine purple outline.  NB: The purple colouration is more subtle when plants are grown in softer lighting, as you see in the leaves of the plant at the top of this page. 

Tradescantia fluminensis can be found growing in the wild in the region that stretches from South Eastern and Southern Brazil through to North Argentina, where the plants grow primarily in the wet tropical biome.  Common names for Tradescantia fluminensis ‘Viridis’ include Spiderwort and Inch Plant, but there are many other common names.  These plants have sweet mid to dark green coloured foliage, whilst the undersides of the leaves are paler in colour and display a slightly silvery tint.

Cyanotis somaliensis ‘Kitten Ears’ is from Northern Somalia where it grows in the desert biome and dry shrub-land biomes.  These plants have a bushy, trailing habit and long, lance-shaped leaves that have a fine covering of long hairs that look very attractive, especially when viewed by certain angles in the sunlight.

This plant makes a superb houseplant for a light and bright room. 

I am such a fan of Tradescantia sillamontana, I adore this Tradescantia’s woolly foliage!  If I was designing a house for a houseplant flower fairy, the blankets on the fairies’ beds would be made from cosy Tradescantia sillamontana leaves and where these thick leaves have a lovely curve and depth to them – they would make the perfect cot for a flower fairy baby. 

Goeppertia orbifolia is a tender plant that produces very handsome, striped leaves with alternate markings in shades of silver and green.  These striking plants thrive in a warm and humid environment and make wonderful houseplants in areas that enjoy bright but soft, filtered light.  Avoid growing Goeppertia orbifolia in areas with harsh lighting and afternoon sunshine, which tends to be more intense. 

In the wild, Heptapleurum arboricola can be found growing in Hainan, Taiwan.  In the UK, Heptapleurum arboricola is grown indoors as a popular houseplant; here Heptapleurum arboricola is commonly known as the Umbrella Plant or by the synonym, Schefflera arboricola.

This is a hardier and more resilient houseplant than most.  When my heating didn’t work for a week during a period of very cold weather in January 2023, my Heptapleurum arboricola was entirely unaffected and lived to tell the tale, unlike many of my other houseplants! 

Peperomia argyraea can be found growing in the wild in the wet tropical biome of South East and North East Brazil.  This handsome plant is a popular houseplant that’s much admired for its attractive silvery-green coloured, ovate leaves with their distinctive dark-green veining.  The plant’s characteristic leaf shape with their rounded, striped markings causes each leaf to bear an obvious resemblance to a watermelon, giving Peperomia argyraea its common name of Watermelon Peperomia.

Goeppertia rufibarba is a perennial that can be found in the wild growing in the wet tropical biome of North East Brazil.  Plants have handsome rippled leaves that emerge as pale lime green in colour and become a darker shade of green with a hint of blue tone, fairly quickly as they age and mature.  This is a tender plant that makes a superb houseplant for warm rooms that are blessed with bright but indirect sunlight.

Tradescantia zebrina ‘Burgundy’ is a charming, naturally trailing, sprawling plant with silver and burgundy striped leaves.  Leaf colour will vary on individual plants according to the light levels and different growing conditions the plants experience.  Plants grown in areas that enjoy brighter sunlight, which are only watered when their growing media has begun to dry out will display more vibrantly coloured foliage with a more vivid purple colouring than plants grown in poorer quality sunlight.

Platycerium bifurcatum is also know as the Staghorn Fern; this is a stunning evergreen fern that naturally grows as an epiphyte – establishing itself on the trunks and branches of trees in its native environment in the treetops and rainforests of Java, Polynesia, Australia, and Asia.  This is a slow-growing, long-lived fern that will enhance your home when grown as a houseplant. 

Kalanchoe blossfeldiana ‘Perfect White’ is a double-flowered form of Kalanchoe blossfeldiana with fully-double, snow-white coloured flowers.  The blooms are beautifully complimented by this plant’s gorgeous dark-green coloured, scallop-edged foliage.  Kalanchoe blossfeldiana ‘Perfect White’ is a houseplant that’s available to buy online or from garden centres, nurseries, or supermarkets.  In addition to this double-flowered, white form of Kalanchoe blossfeldiana that’s part of my houseplant collection, look out for Kalanchoe blossfeldiana forms with yellow, red, and pink flowers.

I must confess that I am a little doubtful that my Selaginella plants that you can see in my photograph above are actually true Selaginella apoda.  However, for more than three years I’ve seen exactly the same type of Selaginella on sale at various nurseries and chains of garden centres and all of the plants were labelled as Selaginella apoda – and so I may well be wrong and this maybe the correct name for this plant.